Managing Tinnitus

Woman suffering with tinnitus and grimacing laying down in bed pressing a gray pillow to her ears.

The buzzing in your ear keeps worsening. At first, you could hardly hear it. But you’ve noticed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. These sounds can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.

The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will differ from person to person and depend significantly on the origin of your hearing problems. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.

What type of tinnitus are you experiencing?

Tinnitus is incredibly common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of root issues. So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is usually split into one of two categories:

  • Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical problems, including ear infections, too much earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Treating the underlying medical problem will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
  • Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is related to hearing damage or hearing impairment is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more challenging to treat.

The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the kind of tinnitus you have.

Treatments for medical tinnitus

If your tinnitus is a result of a root medical condition, it’s likely that managing your initial illness or ailment will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:

  • Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are decreasing your quality of life.
  • Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is a result of an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
  • Hydrocortisone: Some kinds of infections will not respond to antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic solutions. In these situations, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.

If your tinnitus is related to a medical issue, you’ll want to contact us to get personalized treatment options.

Managing non-medical tinnitus

In general, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing impairment. Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal strategy.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy designed to help you reach just that.
  • Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing worsens. When you have hearing impairment everything outside becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus noises seem louder. When you use a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
  • Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus noises by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be calibrated to produce specific sounds designed to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Medications: There are some experimental medications available for dealing with tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help decrease tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.

Find what works

In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will most likely need to try out several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be clear. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. The trick is discovering the one that works for you.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.